After Juventus was eliminated earlier in the day, it was AC Milan which saved Italian football from experiencing a Black Wednesday in the Champions League, while Napoli was left to rue its bad luck despite a 2-0 victory over Arsenal at the San Paolo.
It was the cruellest of outcomes for the Neapolitans to go out of the competition on 12 points, while the same could have been said of their opponents had they suffered the three-goal defeat that would have seen them eliminated.
From the opening moments it was clear that the Partenopei were going to look to Marseille to do them a favor rather than go all-out looking for a three-goal victory. It might have been a risky tactic, but then so would leaving their center halves exposed as they sought a sizeable lead.
As it was, they still made enough chances to overturn Arsenal's advantage, with Christian Maggio and Pablo Armero both squandering great shooting positions before Gonzalo Higuain spawned the best opening of the night.
The Argentine didn't remain the villain for long though, taking Jose Callejon's pass and turning superbly to net the only goal of the game in the 73rd minute. He may have missed some big chances at crucial moments during this Champions League campaign, but he had delivered when Napoli needed him most - at least so it seemed at the time.
- Sports & Recreation
- AC Milan